Monday, November 29, 2010

The Dreaded Editing Process

hi everyone - hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving. I got some requests to talk about the editing process. This is a great topic because we all want our manuscripts to be the best they can be before sending it out to a publishing house. The less work an editor has to do, the higher our chances of getting picked up.

I will be using the book, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. I recommend buying this book to keep in your library so you can refer to it often. You can find it on

Writing and editing are two different skills. You actually use different sides of the brain for them. I've heard it called the Critic and the Creative. The Critic is stronger than the Creative, most of the time. And the older you get, the stronger it gets, unless you work to rev up the Creative. The Critic settles down when you are sleeping or doing something that doesn't require concentration, like taking a shower, running the vacuum cleaner or washing the dishes. Do you ever notice you get good ideas when doing things like that?

So, it's best not to edit while you are writing. At least, that's what I've been taught. But I find it almost impossible to do that until I'm down to the wire and simply HAVE to get something finished. Then I bust through, get it down and play with it when I'm done.

We focus on fantasy here, but the editing process is the same no matter the genre.

Chapter One of the book is called "Show and Tell." You may have heard it another way - "Show, Don't Tell." There are times, of course, when you simply need to tell something, but the reader would rather be shown. Here's an example:

Verilla was mad. (telling)

How would you change this to show the reader Verilla is mad? Would it look different if Verilla was a man?

Do you have anything in your WIP that you need help with showing instead of telling? Share it with us, and we'll work on it together. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What now?

Okay, so Voice didn't grab much interest. What would everyone like to talk about? I'm totally open to suggestions. I know I have some new readers - would you guys introduce yourselves and let us know what you're working on?

NEWS: I'm excited because an agent has asked for the full of Fairyeater! She's had it for about 6 weeks and I'm hoping to hear something soon. I'll keep you posted.

I gave myself a couple of weeks off and then got to writing again. I completed a picture book manuscript and am now going to begin plotting and developing a new fantasy novel, Koda's Quest.

Suggestions - let me have 'em and we'll get discussing again.